Cheez-It Bowl Game Prediction

Cal Golden Bears vs. TCU Horned Frogs, 12/26/18 Cheez-It Bowl Predictions

The Cal Golden Bears and TCU Horned Frogs will meet Wednesday night in the Cheez-It Bowl at 9:00 p.m. ET. With the Golden Bears listed as a small favorite, will Cal knock off TCU?

Game Snapshot

231 Minnesota Golden Gophers vs. 232 Georgia Yellow Jackets

9:00 p.m. ET, Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Chase Field, Phoenix, Arizona

Public Betting Trends

According to oddsmakers from online sports book BetNow.eu, the Golden Bears are 1-point favorites to beat the Horned Frogs. The total, meanwhile, sits at 38 points. As of this writing, 60% of the public betting tickets wagered on this matchup are on the Horned Frogs.

Cal Golden Bears

Cal HC Justin Wilcox received a new five-year contract. The new deal would keep Wilcox with the program through the 2023 season if he stays on for the duration. Jon Wilner of The Mercury News is reporting that the average annual salary, here, will be around $3.25 million. That's a considerable bump over the $2 million he had been drawing annually on his previous deal. This fresh contract is a well-earned one, as Wilcox has done beautiful work in rebuilding the Golden Bears over the past two seasons, particularly on the defensive side. Cal finished 24th in the country in scoring defense in 2018. They also finished with a 7-5 record, which has them heading to a bowl -- specifically the Cheez-It Bowl against TCU -- for the first time since 2015. If Wilcox can find himself a consistent offense, a big leap year in 2019 may well be in play.

TCU Horned Frogs

TCU redshirt senior QB Grayson Muehlstein will start at QB against Cal in the Cheez-It Bowl. The fifth-year senior started the season finale against Oklahoma State, and while he didn't tear up the record books (180 yards passing, 47 yards rushing), he did lead the Horned Frogs to a 31-24 victory. He starts in place of Michael Collins, who still isn't available with an undisclosed injury.

Betting Trends

Cal

The over is 7-1 in the Golden Bears’ last eight games versus Big 12 opponents and 7-2 I their last nine bowl games.

TCU

The over is 6-0 in the Horned Frogs’ last six games versus Pac-12 opponents and is 4-1 in their last five non-conference games.

Prediction

TCU still has a sound defense under Gary Patterson but this Frogs offense is a mess. They’ve had issues at quarterback all season long and even in a bowl matchup tonight that figures to be low-scoring, I’m not going to back this TCU offense. The Golden Bears are 5-1 against the spread in their last six games overall and are 5-2-1 ATS in their last eight non-conference games. Meanwhile, the Horned Frogs are 2-7 at the betting window in their last nine bowl games and are 2-8 ATS in their last 10 games versus a team with a winning record.

Cheez-It Bowl Prediction: Cal Golden Bears -1

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